Blogging is still practically new. Lets just be honest. When I meet people and they ask what I do for a living, they either love what I do or don’t take it quite serious. For those people out there that judge bloggers and turn their noses up at them, I really LOVE these type of people lol. Once I break it down and explain to these folks what I do, what you can make and so on, then they kinda get it. Then you have those people that want to learn about blogging because they either think its a quick way to get in to network with bigger brands or celebrities, make a quick buck or they are just simply trying to get free stuff without putting in any real work.
People like this are weeded out fast though and brands, pr and marketing companies will circulate your name around the country so fast it will make your head spin! Yes, there is a blacklist for bloggers too lol. Another thing you need to think about is this, the world is smaller than you think. Most of the brands, pr or marketing companies that you try to swindle out of things move around and they communicate. Meaning that they leave one company and go somewhere else, so you may just run across that same person that you did wrong. Example, whatever your profession is, you meet others with the same likeness right? Its the same thing with bloggers and brands, they just get to know who’s who and who did a great job and who didn’t. Be careful what bridges you burn.
Now let’s talk about a few things that people won’t tell you about blogging. For delusional people out there that think its a cake walk, for folks that don’t really understand it or you may just be curious, I have a few things to share about the world of blogging and what they won’t tell you inside…
You will have to wear MANY hats when you blog: You will have to be an accountant, publicist, manager, bookkeeper, website developer, graphic artist, photographer, videographer, editor and more. Unless you got deep pockets to hire people to do all these different tasks, its best to do some research or take courses on how to maintain and keep your blog running. Learn SEO, web development etc. Outside of updating your blog and running the back end of it, you will also have to learn how to deal with people, negotiate contracts, network and more.
Blogging as a Minority: This will hurt your feelings but it needs to be said! You will want to pack up your laptop and head for the hills after blogging for awhile when you see certain bloggers get opportunities that are not offered to you. We live in a very unfair world though. You will see people get huge campaigns left and right while you sit there wondering what you did wrong. You will have to face the hard facts that you are not in the norm! Most brands just do not want to see minorities promote their things. I had to learn this the hard way unfortunately! You can have very good traffic, more followers etc but at the end of the day, they make the final decisions and you can be left feeling like there is something wrong with you when its not. You will find your way though and brands that will love you for you!
Some bloggers will think they are better than you but feel a sense of entitlement. I could sit and tell you guys stories after stories of how unfair blogging can be. Many times they try to use a token person of color to fill their quota, to make it look like they are being equal, like we don’t notice. I talk to friends that blog that are Caucasian and they are racking in 6 figures a year easily. They seem to think others are too. They act like they are unaware of the unfairness in blogging or that they don’t know what is going on, its funny to watch…smh! I have had mktg and pr brands offer me a low ball figure for a blog campaign while they gave my friend a bigger payout. They have no clue that we as bloggers talk. By the way, I had way more traffic/followers than my friend but she is Caucasian, so ofcourse they offered her more money. That is what makes you want to go off the deep end but I stay diligent and do a good job. Blessings still come my way and I keep my head held high and keep it moving.
The numbers game: Everyone has to start somewhere. It was tough when I first started and my traffic was not that great. You are going to get discouraged, heck I still get discouraged some days lol but just like the stock market, you will have good and bad days and it will be up and down with traffic. Get used to it, it happens to the best of us. Ways to increase your traffic and followers is to have something cool to say, be consistent, have fabulous images and be true to yourself.
The competition is fierce: You are not that special, so get over yourself and stay humble lol. There are millions of blogs online and they pop up every single second. Look at what blogs you like and some that you don’t like and compare notes. Pick and chose how you would like your blog to look, layout, colors, fonts and content. Try to be unique, brand yourself well and have something different to say. Trying to emulate someone else is never a good idea. Stay true to you.
Extremely time consuming: I’m telling you now, if you have a very demanding full time job good luck with becoming a professional blogger. This job is VERY time consuming and can be very tedious all at the same time. One post can take up to two hours and thats putting it lightly. Editing pictures takes up most of your time, uploading them and arranging them on your site. Doing research on a blog post is another issue. Then you have the whole aspect of adding the content. Outside of blogging, going to events, posting to social media and more is another issue that takes time away from your family and friends. If you are fortunate enough to be invited out to press junkets, or fly to some destination, all of this has to be factored in too.
Contracts, deadlines, sponsorships, brand endorsements: This part of the job was never something anyone else told me about(most people don’t tell you much anyway with blogging) so you have to learn on your own. No one is going to hold your hand and baby you. Grow tough skin, learn to use Google, Youtube as much as possible or befriend a newbie blogger like yourself that can give you suggestions on how to blog or give you fresh ideas. It sounds harsh but the bigger bloggers are tied up, have tons of emails to respond to and doing other projects. Sometimes they are very hard to reach out to for mentorships etc.
No one taught me how to read over contracts, so there was a lot of trial and error there. I eventually got the hang of it. Now I have put together my own contract when hosting events and negotiating endorsements. Again, no one helped me. I have an attorney on speed dial just in case something huge arises but other than that, you will have to learn how to pitch yourself, negotiate and deal with brands, marketing & pr firms.
It will get really demanding too when it comes to endorsing products/things and doing ad campaigns! Brands have certain criteria that will make your head spin! They will send you tons of emails and correspond with you a lot. You will have to take down posts, delete things, add here, move this etc. If you are horrible at responding to emails, don’t do it. I have a friend that went on a Disney trip once, she never was invited back because she could not keep up with the demand! Disney trips are amazing but there is a lot of work involved afterwards! Just say about 15 posts are due that has certain criteria, images, wording, links etc that has to be posted on a certain day, time etc. Its all strategic. You will go insane if you are not use to doing anything like this lol.
When doing an ad campaign, the pay is pretty freaking amazing but it can take up to 90 days to receive! That is the sucky part that I hate! So you have to keep doing more and more things, be a great bookkeeper and suck it up. I have about 10 campaigns coming up this spring and although its fun and all I prefer to be paid within 30 days. You can request to be paid earlier but it does not always happen with corporate brands.
Do a great job anyway and eventually more brands will see what you have done and may want to work with you in the future. Trust me pr & mktg people know each other too, so always keep your good name and image. I also shy away from doing a lot of affiliate programs because it just DO NOT pay. You have to sell tons of stuff and have millions and millions of readers to just make $100 no thanks. Maybe this works for some other bloggers, but I don’t find it lucrative or effective at all.
If I am hosting an event, I have to be extremely clear on what I will and will not do. For example: If you are having me host your event, thats what we agreed on. If you are asking me to promote it too, place on my blog, social media platforms, then thats an extra fee. I will perhaps promote closer to the date of the event but that is not my responsibility to blast out “your” event and promote every single day. You need to hire a marketing firm for that lol. All this needs to be understood between both parties in your contract. Time of arrival, start time and finish too. So many times in the past I arrived early and stayed late. NO more of that. I have the start and finish time in my contract. If your event starts late because of unforeseen things, set up late, that is not my business. I had to learn the hard way! My time is too valuable now.
You will lose and gain friends: Lastly this is the one issue that has bothered me in the past but now I have learned to just deal with it. You are going to lose friends that were there for years! For some reason in people’s brain(especially females) they think you are moving up fast and leaving them behind. If you were my friend in the beginning, what has changed? Thank God my bestie Heather and I have been friends for over 28 years and are still close! She gives me a lot of advice but some of these other people get in their feelings when they see you prospering and they can’t figure out how! Those type of people were NEVER in your corner anyway. You will learn how to sift through these folks real soon and especially when you start getting opportunities.
For some reason people think they are are entitled to the same level of things as you. They will start to compare, that will turn into jealousy, the bickering starts and then they get mad at you for no reason. They chose to do whatever they are doing and you went on another path. So what is the big deal? And besides, we all have the same 24 hours in a day lol. Some take it too far and start plotting against you, competing, start rumors and try to up you one. I have seen it all and now over the years, I have made my circle very small.
I recently had a person get upset with me and told me I don’t share information. I looked so perplexed because I have been doing this for well over 11 years and I don’t recall EVER receiving any shared information from this person about an event or opportunity in my inbox! When I stated this they said, “well you know everything already”. Don’t EVER assume I know everything, you sound crazy! Do you see what I mean how some folks will always try to come for you? Tah!
Take this all in stride when you start but trust me, if you do become a blogger and start going to events, galas, hanging out with celebrities, covering red carpets, dining and staying at posh spots, you looking good, traveling, WATCH how many of your friends change around you! That is God’s way of protecting you though and you will see their true colors fast!
You may gain a few good friends along the way too and I still believe in my heart that there are still genuine people out there but that is far and in between lol. I didn’t get to see this age without learning when to spot someone that is not in my best interest. Some like what you do, see an advantage or they just want what you have. The thing is, you have to be you and work hard. When I say that someone is my friend, I really mean that and most of them are still around till this day. We might not see each other every single day but we know where each other is and can pick up the phone and catch up. Thats true friendship. I have about 5 great blogging buddies that I can share ideas with, chat about different projects, share information and more. I love them for supporting and believing in me and my vision. Plus no one is in competition with each other and we cheer each other on.
So I hope these were helpful tips for you, good luck and happy blogging!